cvs commit: hints apcupsd-usb.txt

timothy at timothy at
Sat Jan 25 08:59:12 PST 2003

timothy     03/01/25 11:59:12

  Added:       .        apcupsd-usb.txt
  Initial commit.
  Revision  Changes    Path
  1.1                  hints/apcupsd-usb.txt
  Index: apcupsd-usb.txt
  TITLE:          Installing an APC USB UPS using apcupsd
  LFS VERSION:    3.3
  AUTHOR:         Bryan Mason bmason at
          Describes how to install some of the new Uninterruptable Power
          Supplies (UPS's) from American Power Conversion (APC) that use a
          Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface to connect to the host.
  Version 1.0.0
  23 January 2003
          1. Introduction
          2. Configuring the LFS Kernel for USB and HID Support 
          3. Installing apcupsd with USB Support
          4. Configuring Apcupsd
          5. Testing the Installation
          6. Creating Scripts
          7. Advanced Testing
          8. Tested Configurations
          9. Troubleshooting
  1. Introduction
          John McSwain's hint entitled "Apcupsd", which can be found at 
          <> describes
          how to install an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) made by
          American Power Conversion (APC) using apcupsd as the software
          interface between the UPS and the LFS system.  Apcupsd monitors
          the UPS and informs the system when a power loss has occurred
          and can subsequently shutdown the system if power is not
          restored within a predetermined time.
          This hint works fine for those UPS's that use a serial cable to
          interface to the host computer, but many of APC's new UPS's use
          a Universal Serial Bus (USB) hardware interface to connect to
          the system that is being provided power by the UPS.  Although
          the latest stable version of apcupsd, version 3.8.5, does not
          support these USB interfaces, versions 3.9.4 and later provide
          direct support for USB UPS's.  This hint is based on version
          3.10.3 of apcupsd, the latest development version of apcupsd
          available at the time of writing.
          Installation of a USB UPS consists of the following basic steps,
          which are described in more detail below:
          1) Configuring the LFS Kernel for USB and HID support
          2) Installing apcupsd with USB support
          3) Configuring apcupsd
          3) Testing the installation
          4) Creating scripts
          If you have any comments or corrections to be made to this
          document, please send an e-mail message to the author at
          <bmason at>.
  2. Configuring the LFS Kernel for USB and HID Support 
          To enable the use of a USB UPS in Linux, not only USB support is
          required, but also support for Human Interface Devices (HIDs).
          The documentation on the apcupsd Web site states that Alan Cox's
          patch are required to enable HID support.  This may have been
          true on older kernels, but HID support now seems to be an
          integral part of kernel version 2.4.18 which is the version used
          in LFS 3.3.
          To enable USB and HID, make sure that the following items are
          enabled either as a module or as part of the kernel.  Generally
          it's easier to install these as part of the kernel; otherwise
          the modules will have to be loaded in the boot script and a delay
          will need to be made so that the USB drivers can recognize the
          - "Input Core Support" (CONFIG_INPUT)
          - "Support for USB" (CONFIG_USB)
          - "Preliminary USB File System" (CONFIG_USB_DEVICEFS)
          - "USB Human Interface Device (full HID) support" (CONFIG_USB_HID)
          - "/dev/hiddev raw HID device support" (CONFIG_USB_HIDDEV)
          - One of:
                  "UHCI (Intel PIIX4, VIA, ...) support" (CONFIG_USB_UHCI)
                  or "UHCI Alternate Driver (JE) support" (CONFIG_USB_UHCI_ALT)
                  or "OHCI (Compaq, iMacs, OPTi, SiS, ALi, ...) support" 
            Which one of these options is enabled will depend on the
            chip set used in the system on which LFS is running.  See your
            motherboard documentation and the help system within
            menuconfig for additional information.
          After the kernel is configured, proceed with the normal process
          of building and installing a new Linux kernel (make bzImage,
          make modules, make modules_install, copy the bzImage file, etc.)
          Strictly speaking, the "Preliminary USB File System" support
          isn't required, but it should make debugging easier if there are
  3. Installing apcupsd with USB Support
          3.1 Review Existing Documentation
          Before you install apcupsd, it might be a good idea to review 
          the documentation for the latest version of apcupsd at
          Specifically, the following sections might be useful:
          - Quick Start for Beginners
          - Compiling and Installing
          - Using Apcupsd with a USB UPS
          Also, reviewing John McSwain's apcupsd hint at 
          <> is also
          probably a good idea.
          Much of what follows is based on the documentation listed above
          -- I've just put it in a convenient, easy to swallow format (I
          3.2 Download and Unpack Apcupsd
          The source tarballs for apcupsd version 3.10.3 are located at
          the following sites:
          Apcupsd Home:
          3.3 Create the HID Devices
          After the source has been unpacked, use the "make-hiddev" script
          in the "examples" directory of the apcupsd source tree to make
          the HID devices.  Make-hiddev performs the following commands:
          mkdir -p /dev/usb/hid
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev0 c 180 96
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev1 c 180 97
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev2 c 180 98
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev3 c 180 99
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev4 c 180 100
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev5 c 180 101
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev6 c 180 102
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev7 c 180 103
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev8 c 180 104
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev9 c 180 105
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev10 c 180 106
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev11 c 180 107
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev12 c 180 108
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev13 c 180 109
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev14 c 180 110
          mknod /dev/usb/hid/hiddev15 c 180 111
          After running make-hiddev, connect your UPS to your LFS system,
          and then build and run the "hid-ups" test program to test the
          connection between your system and the UPS.
          If you compiled USB and/or HID support into modules, make sure
          that you have loaded the modules before running hid- ups.  The
          following modules should be loaded:
          - "hid"
          - "input"
          - "usbcore"
          - "usb-uhci" (or "usb-ohci" or whatever module you created)
          To compile and execute hid-ups, execute the following commands
          (substituting "<apcupsd-src>" with the directory to which you
          unpacked the apcupsd source tarballs.
          cd <apcupsd-src>/examples
          make hid-ups
          If hid-ups is successful, the tail of the output from hid-ups
          should look similar to the following:
          FeatureReport 53
            Field 0, app UPS, phys PowerSummary
              Usage 0, APCPanelTest = 0 
          FeatureReport 28
            Field 0, app UPS, phys PowerSummary
              Usage 0, APCBattReplacementDate = 267777  2001-04-16
          FeatureReport 64
            Field 0, app UPS, phys APCGeneralCollection
              Usage 0, APCForceShutdown = 0 
          Waiting for events ... (interrupt to exit)
          Press Ctrl-C to exit hid-ups.
          3.4 Install Apcupsd
          Now configure, compile, and install apcupsd by running the
          following commands:
          ./configure --prefix=/usr --sbindir=/sbin \
                  --with-serial-dev=/dev/usb/hid/hiddev[0-9] \
                  --with-upstype=usb --with-upscable=usb --enable-usb \
                  --enable-pthreads --enable-powerflute &&
          make &&
          make install
          Below are descriptions of the options passed to the configure
          --with-serial-dev=/dev/usb/hid/hiddev[0-9]: This is not a typo,
          and should be entered exactly as shown.  This syntax allows
          apcupsd to search all the USB devices to find the UPS.
          --with-upstype=usb: This tells apcupsd to default to a USB UPS.
          This option can be changed at runtime by modifying apcupsd's
          configuration file.
          --with-upscable=usb: This tells apcupsd to default to a USB
          cable.  This option can be changed at runtime by modifying
          apucpsd's configuration file.
          --enable-usb: This enables the USB support in apcupsd.
          --enable-pthreads: This option enables pthreads support causing
          apcupsd to be built as a threaded program rather than forking to
          create separate processes. This should cause apcupsd to be more
          efficient with memory and resources.  This is not strictly
          needed for USB support, but is a good idea.
          --enable-powerflute: This enables the building of powerflute,
          which is an ncurses-based program that can be used to monitor
          the UPS.  This is not strictly need for USB support or even to
          build apcupsd, but it could be a useful program.
  4. Configuring Apcupsd      
          The apcupsd configuration file is located by default at
          /etc/apcupsd/apcupsd.conf.  There shouldn't be much of a need to
          change anything in this file, since most of the important
          settings have already been specified during the compilation of
          apcupsd in Section 3.4 above.
          The only thing that might be a good idea is to modify the
          behavior of apcupsd and syslogd so that apcupsd events are sent
          to their own file, /var/log/apcupsd.log. To do this, modify the
          following line in apcupsd.conf:
          From:   #FACILITY local0
          To:     FACILITY local1
          Then add the following lines to /etc/syslog.conf:
          # Logging for apcupsd
          local1.*                        -/var/log/apcupsd.log
          If the "local1" facility is already being used by another
          program, then change "local1" in the examples above to "local2"
          or another free local facility.
          After this is done, syslogd needs to be restarted by executing
          the following command:
          /etc/rc.d/init.d/sysklogd restart
  5. Testing the Installation
          5.1 Running apcupsd
          The first step in testing is to run the apcupsd program itself.
          Simply execute:
          Wait for apcupsd to configure itself and establish contact with 
          the UPS, and then execute:
          tail /var/log/apcupsd.log
          The result should be something similar to the following:
          Jan  3 15:51:21 linux apcupsd[22825]: apcupsd 3.10.3 (12 \
          December 2002) unknown startup succeeded
          Jan  3 15:51:21 linux apcupsd[22827]: NIS server startup \
          If apcupsd generates an error code and then exits, see the
          "Testing" section of the apcupsd documentation, at 
          <>, for
          information on possible sources of problems.
          5.2 Getting UPS status
          Once apcupsd is successfully loaded, the next step is to get
          status from the UPS.  To do this, execute the following command:
          apcaccess status
          The result should be similar to the following:
          APC      : 001,034,0833
          DATE     : Fri Jan 03 15:53:21 PST 2003
          HOSTNAME : linux
          RELEASE  : 3.10.3
          VERSION  : 3.10.3 (12 December 2002) unknown
          UPSNAME  : linux
          CABLE    : USB Cable
          MODEL    : Back-UPS RS 1000
          UPSMODE  : Stand Alone
          STARTTIME: Fri Jan 03 15:51:20 PST 2003
          STATUS   : ONLINE
          LINEV    : 122.0 Volts
          LOADPCT  :   2.0 Percent Load Capacity
          BCHARGE  : 100.0 Percent
          TIMELEFT : 341.0 Minutes
          MBATTCHG : 10 Percent
          MINTIMEL : 10 Minutes
          MAXTIME  : 0 Seconds
          LOTRANS  : 097.0 Volts
          HITRANS  : 138.0 Volts
          ALARMDEL : Always
          BATTV    : 27.1 Volts
          NUMXFERS : 0
          TONBATT  : 0 seconds
          CUMONBATT: 0 seconds
          XOFFBATT : N/A
          SELFTEST : NO
          STATFLAG : 0x02000008 Status Flag
          MANDATE  : 2002-10-13
          SERIALNO : JB0241034799
          BATTDATE : 2001-09-25
          NOMBATTV :  24.0
          FIRMWARE : .g2 .D USB FW:g2
          APCMODEL : Back-UPS RS 1000
          END APC  : Fri Jan 03 15:54:04 PST 2003
  6. Creating Scripts
          6.1 Creating the boot script
          The following boot script will start, stop, restart, etc. apcupsd.
          It is based on the LFS boot script template (/etc/rc.d/init.d/template) and
          the file apcupsd in the platforms/unknown directory of the apcupsd
          source tree.
          # Begin /etc/rc.d/init.d/apcupsd
          # Based on sysklogd script from LFS-3.1 and earlier.
          # Rewritten by Gerard Beekmans  - gerard at
          # Apcupsd version written by Bryan Mason - bmason at
          source /etc/sysconfig/rc
          source $rc_functions
          case "$1" in
          #               Uncomment the following lines if the USB and HID 
          #               drivers were built as kernel modules
          #               echo "Installing modules for USB and HID..."
          #               modprobe usb-uhci &&
          #               modprobe hid
          #               evaluate_retval
          #               echo "Waiting for the UPS to be recognized..."
          #               sleep 5
                          echo "Starting APC UPS Daemon (apcupsd)..."
                          rm -f /etc/apcupsd/powerfail
                          rm -f /etc/nologin
                          loadproc /sbin/apcupsd
                          echo "Stopping APC UPS Daemon (apcupsd)..."
                          killproc /sbin/apcupsd
          #               Uncomment the following lines if the USB and HID 
          #               drivers were built as kernel modules
          #               echo "Removing modules for USB and HID..."
          #               rmmod usb-uhci hid input usbcore
          #               evaluate_retval
                          # Sometimes killproc can't kill apcupsd, which
                          # interrupts the shutdown process.  
                          # That isn't good.  So lets make sure to always
                          # exit with a status of 0.
                          exit 0            
                          echo "Reloading APC UPS Daemon (apcupsd)..."
                          reloadproc /sbin/apcupsd
                          $0 stop
                          sleep 1
                          $0 start
                          statusproc /sbin/apcupsd
                          echo "Usage: $0 {start|stop|reload|restart|status}"
                          exit 1
          # End /etc/rc.d/init.d/apcupsd
          This file can be made by copying /etc/rc.d/init.d/template to 
          /etc/rc.d/init.d/apcupsd or made from scratch.  If it is made
          from scratch, be sure to set the correct permissions on the 
          file by running "chmod 750 /etc/rc.d/init.d/apcupsd".
          6.2 Creating the links for the boot script
          Apcupsd should be started as soon as possible during the boot
          process, right after sysklogd is started.  Since sysklogd 
          uses S10, apcupsd can be started at S15 or S20.  Apcupsd
          should also be one of the last things to be stopped, right 
          before sysklogd is stopped.  Create the symbolic links by
          executing the following commands:
          cd /etc/rc.d &&
          cd rc0.d &&
          ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd K35apcupsd &&
          cd ../rc1.d &&
          ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd K75apcupsd &&
          cd ../rc2.d &&
          ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd S15apcupsd &&
          cd ../rc3.d &&
          ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd S15apcupsd &&
          cd ../rc4.d &&
          ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd S15apcupsd &&
          cd ../rc5.d &&
          ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd S15apcupsd &&
          cd ../rc6.d &&
          ln -s ../init.d/apcupsd K35apcupsd
          Of course, if you've renumbered your boot scripts, then you'll
          need to link the apcupsd boot script accordingly.
          6.3 Creating the UPS Powerdown Script
          Normally, the last thing that needs to happen before the system
          shuts down is to power off the UPS.  Unfortunately, one of the
          known limitations of apcupsd interfacing to a USB UPS is that
          the "--killpower" option to apcupsd doesn't work, which means
          that it is not possible to power off a USB UPS.  Although the
          apcupsd documentation states that the UPS should shut itself
          down one to two minutes after the system, I did not observer
          this in my testing.  In my case, the UPS continued to supply
          power to the computer until the batteries drained to a critically
          low level.  Of course, this wasn't a problem because the system
          had already been shut down.
  7. Advanced Testing
          Many tests that should be run on the system before the
          installation is considered complete and stable.  The "Testing"
          section of the apcupsd documentation, located at 
          <>, contains
          a list of such tests.  Briefly, the test sequence runs as
          - Remove the USB cable from the UPS to make sure communications
            is working
          - Modify some of the scripts used by apcupsd so that they are
            "safe" (i.e. they won't actually shut down the system) and
            disconnect the UPS from utility power.
          - Perform a full shutdown test, but do not allow the UPS to
            power down.
          - Perform a full shutdown test, allowing the UPS to cut power to
            the system.
  8. Tested Configurations
          The following configuration has been tested and is fully
          functional after following the instructions in this hint:
          * APC Back-Ups XS 1000 
            Note: Apcupsd reports this as a Back-UPS RS 1000
          If you have successfully installed another APC USB UPS on your
          LFS system, please send an e-mail message to <bmason at>
          so I can add your model number to the above list.
  9. Troubleshooting
          The installation of my USB UPS went very smoothly.  I didn't
          have to do much troubleshooting, so I don't have any
          troubleshooting steps to report.  If you experience problems
          with your installation and have a way to overcome them, please
          send an e-mail message to bmason at with your
          experience, and I'll add it to this section.
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